The arrival of Islam in Zimbabwe dates to the fourth Hijri century when Muslims established emirates on the coast of East Africa. During that period Muslim slave merchants extended their business to the interior regions reaching Zimbabwe. Over a period of hundreds of years more than four million slaves were stolen from Zimbabwe and surrounding countries and exported from Swahili ports by Arab traders to India and Arabia.
Many Muslims entered Zimbabwe during the colonial period, primarily came from the Indian subcontinent
Estimates on the number Muslims in Zimbabwe vary from as low as 120,000 to as many as 1.2 million. According the United States State Department:
There have been rumours that say that Arab traders played a major role in the construction of Great Zimbabwe. The proof given for this is that there are a number of indigenous people,in the city of Masvingo who have Muslim name and follow culture which is similar to that of Muslims. A great number of Muslims have also arrived since the discovery of diamond in the Manicaland area from north and western African regions. The Islamic migrants are largely coming from the Yao tribe of neighboring Malawi.
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